Hi Jim,

Here are some details of my "hot rod" Dawes Kingpin conversion.

In 1976 I bought my wife a Dawes "Kingpin" shopper, complete with all the go faster goodies -including rear rack and shopping bag, handlebar shopping basket, mudguards, chain guard, lamp brackets and kick stand. Since arriving in Canada in 1977, it had been languishing indoors, largely uncared for, unridden and unloved; a wasteful situation which I found increasingly irksome.

In 2000, I updated my 13-year-old Bianchi road racer, with a new 9-speed Campagnolo Veloce group. (See Current Classics Gallery #113). At its completion, I was left with a cardboard box full of redundant Campy Victory components, all in excellent condition, which seemed to be destined to keep the Kingpin company.

Further to some Internet exploring of folders, in particular Raleigh "Twenties" (the other classic folder/shopper of the period), the idea of combining the two was spawned. The idea of a 6 speed, Campy-equipped, stripped down, customized, Bike Friday lookalike, hot rod was sufficiently appealing to warrant the conversion.

The basic Dawes Shopper seems to have a slightly higher build standard than the Raleigh "Twenty" including "through the frame" cable runs.

The following is the component list and sources of the original conversion:
Frame and fork: Dawes Kingpin - Headset: Dawes - Brakes: Dawes, Weinmann type 730 sidepull - Freewhee:l Ex Bianchi 6 speed 13-23 teeth Regina - Derailleur: Ex Bianchi Campy Victory - Shifter: Ex Bianchi Campy Syncro 2 mated to a much-butchered Suntour stem mount - Crank: Ex Bianchi Campy Victory - Chainwheel: Ex Bianchi Campy Victory 52 teeth - Bottom Bracket: Ex Bianchi Campy Victory with original Dawes cups - Brake levers: Ex Bianchi Campy Victory - Bars: Flipped and chopped road bars - Front wheel: New 451mm Sun M1131rim and Shimano LX hub - Rear wheel: New 451mm Sun rim, ex Bianchi Gipiemme hub - Tyres: New IRC Roadlite EX 20 x 11/8 - Stem: New long reach Nitto - Seatpost: New Axiom 28.6mm, long reach - Saddle: Used ex-road bike - Pedals: Shimano PD 525 SPD

Weight Complete with pump, kickstand and toolbag 24lb* * Getting rid of the original "heavy iron" has resulted in a saving of at least 10lb over the original -amazing! Initially I intended it to be a fun "hot rod" for local riding, but have never ceased to be amazed at how well it performs. In 2005 I rode it on several club rides and decided to see if it could be refined a little and turned into a no compromise day tourer. I have therefore incorporated the following changes to the original.

The attached photos show the latest standard.

A combined 2nd bottle holder clamp incorporating a pump.
A softer Bontrager saddle plus a good Topeak tool bag.
A longer Kalloy seat post enabling me to optimise saddle height. I initially fitted drop bars but found the stem too short, uncomfortable and to adversely affect low speed handling.
1991 era Profile time trial/triathlon bars were fitted to the existing "bullhorn" bars in lieu of drops. These give great benefit in headwind conditions but with hands away from the brakes, renders them unsuitable for use when riding in a group.
Syncro gear shifter repositioned on the forward end of the Profile bars to permit shifts to be made when using them.
The biggest change has been to install a Pantour suspension hub into the front wheel. This is likely to give the biggest improvement as the small 20" wheels can give a harsh ride on less than perfect road surfaces. Even though the total suspension travel is barely 1/2", I have been very impressed by the improvement in ride quality. There is virtually no weight penalty and the low unsprung weight results in very rapid response to even to the slightest road imperfections at speed. This was a bit of a bonus and has resulted in improved performance in all road conditions. The perforated aluminum bracket outboard of the chainwheel is a chain retainer. The results of all this have been extremely encouraging.

For those interested in seeing the Pantour hub in action, go to: www.pantourhub.com/products.html where there are animated graphics showing the movement clearly.


Roy Bird

Ajax, Ontario


Dawes Kingpin - non-drive side view


Dawes Kingpin - Pantour Hub detail


Dawes Kingpin - driveside view
Dawes Kingpin - cockpit view
Dawes Kingpin - rear hub detail



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